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2021 Football Season Thread
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Steve1981 Offline
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2021 Football Season Thread
Starting a 2021 Football thread with ab article from Underdog Dynasty by Dan Morrison.

UMass is Positioned for Its Best Season Ever

Quote:UMass is Positioned for Its Best Season Ever
UMass has had the worst FBS team for the past two seasons. Now they’re in position for their best season since they were in the FCS.

By Dan Morrison May 6, 2021, 9:00am EDT
Since UMass made the jump to FBS, they have done everything wrong. From initially playing games hours away from campus at Gillette Stadium, to struggling to find a conference, to multiple bad coaching hires, and the list goes on, the Minutemen have been a bottom feeder annually since 2012. In nine seasons at the FBS level, UMass has a 19-81 record. Current head coach Walt Bell feels scarily like Charley Molnar, holding a 1-15 record after one full season plus four games during 2020.

But, we could go forever on why UMass is terrible and how long they’ve been terrible. It’s kind of beating a dead horse at some point. It’s certainly not breaking news. So, hear me out. There is a good chance that this program isn’t just improving and being built up, but that they could be headed for their best FBS season ever.

It starts with pressure growing around the program...
Athletic director Ryan Bamford hears you saying that UMass should drop back down to FCS, and he wants nothing to do with it. He truly believes, for better or worse, that the football team can win as an FBS Independent. It’s easy enough to see why. After all, the hockey team at UMass has gone from a doormat team that had recently resurrected their program to National Champions with back-to-back Frozen Four appearances. That seemed impossible, but it happened under Bamford.

It didn’t just happen, but it saw students lining up hours before games, at night, in the cold Massachusetts winter to get into games. This, on a campus of nearly 30,000 students proved that there is still an appetite for great sports on campus. So, why don’t students jump over from tailgates to McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Saturdays? Again, according to Bamford, it’s just that they don’t win.

Students and alumni are desperate for them to win again. They want these games to be fun, like they used to be when UMass was making FCS playoff runs and the way hockey games are now. This is a school that still proudly counts John Calipari’s Final Four, even if the NCAA doesn’t. There is pressure here, even if outsiders don’t see it.

It’s just hard to physically go into the stadium and watch a team lose by multiple scores every game. Walt Bell and company feel this pressure too. They know that it’s time to win.

The article is a bit rosy but being well below the scholarship limit and playing some many freshmen, we are all hoping they make a big step up this year along with some transfers, including quarterback, Colorado transfer Tyler Lytle. Will see how the OL improves with a new former UMass player OL coach Alex Miller coming over from Maine. The all CUSA OT transfers Willie Allen should help.

Willie Allen Article
05-20-2021 12:36 PM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Season Thread
56 minute interview with New England Football Journal and Coach Walt Bell. There was talk about the past, the extra year, changing the 25 limit rule, a few years away, transfer portal, positions, style of offense and questions regarding strength etc. The later you do have some past cause to take with a grain of salt.

From Frank's blog http://umass74.blogspot.com/
  • Coach Bell was asked his expectations for the 2021 season and he responded "be bowl eligible". That would imply 5 or 6 wins, which would be the most wins of the FBS era. Five wins would make most UMass fans very happy after what we've been through.
  • Bell said Tyler Lytle was expected to win the battle to start at Colorado, but he tested positive for COVID and had to sit out 21 days of fall camp. Bell thinks he will do well at UMass.
  • He said the fact UMass had to quarantine after every game in 2020 did not did not allow freshmen like QB Garrett Dzuro to show what they can do.
  • Bell said what I've said here, that the UMass defensive backfield could be the deepest unit on the team. He also said the depth on the O-line is much improved.
  • He said linebacker and running backs are probably the thinnest rooms right now.
  • Bell confirmed he's hired Coach Jimmie Reid to work with defense. I think Reid will be an impact coach on the Minutemen defense. Reid has been defensive coordinator at five different teams including Virginia and Boston College. The UMass defensive line and secondary could lead the way to a resurrected Minutemen "D".



https://twitter.com/newftbj/status/1402053409872613387
06-09-2021 07:16 AM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Season Thread
A good outside appraisal by Jackson Caudell on Saturdayvlitz.

https://saturdayblitz.com/2021/07/03/uma...ssion=true

Starts with a the background and assessment.
Quote:Operating as an FBS independent can be a difficult thing to do. Ever since returning to independent status in 2016, UMass football has struggled to put a competitive team on the field and it has had some questioning if they even belong at the division one level.

The Minutemen have become a punchline across college football and the program does not really have anything to point to as a future sign of any success. Head coach Walt Bell was an uninspiring hire and is now facing a pivotal third season at the helm.

This really should be considered Bell’s second season in all fairness, with UMass putting together a last-minute schedule of four games against four pretty tough opponents.

UMass is a program that is struggling to find its footing ever since moving back up to the Division 1 level in 2012.

Charley Molnar was a pretty bad head coach for the team before they hired Mark Whipple as the head coach and while the latter had some exciting offenses and produced future NFL receiver Andy Isabella, he could never find success and that led to the program hiring former Florida State offensive coordinator Walt Bell as the head coach.

During Bell’s two seasons, the Minutemen have one won game against a lowly Akron team and gotten blown out in every other game. This has led to some wondering whether or not it is viable for the program to remain at the highest level of competition and if UMass can ever reasonably compete at this level.

That’s why this is a pivotal year for Bell and the program to show that they can compete and I think that there are some winnable games for them on the schedule and they need to take advantage.

The the offense, defense, and then will qoute the final predictions:
Quote:How will UMass football fare in 2021?
While there are some tough games against Power Five opponents on the schedule for the Minutemen, there are also some winnable games and I think that is where they will be judged.

A 3-9 or 4-8 season should be enough to give Walt Bell another season.

These predictions are made assuming none of the games will be altered by injuries, suspensions, or anything else that could impact the result.
  • Game 1: at Pitt (L) — Pitt is a tough opponent to start the season with and this likely won’t be a close game.
  • Game 2: Boston College (L) — Another game against a solid ACC opponent will result in another loss.
  • Game 3: Eastern Michigan (L) — Eastern Michigan is a solid program and has built sustained success and even at home, UMass won’t be able to get its first win.
  • Game 4: at Coastal Carolina (L) — This will be the best team on the schedule for UMass and they stand virtually no chance to win.
  • Game 5: Toledo (L) —Like Eastern Michigan, Toledo is a solid MAC team and will likely beat UMass by double digits.
  • Game 6: UConn (W) — The first winnable game on the schedule for UMass will be a must-win for the program or it could spell trouble.
  • Game 7: at Florida State (L) — The Seminoles are not a powerhouse again yet, but they’ll be too much for UMass.
  • Game 8: at Liberty (L) — Liberty’s Malik Willis is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the country and will put up video game-like numbers against UMass.
  • Game 9: Rhode Island (W) — Another winnable game for UMass and one it really needs.
  • Game 10: Maine (W) — Maine is a tough FCS opponent and this game won’t be an easy win, but I think the Minutemen can get consecutive victories here.
  • Game 11: at Army (L) — Army is always a tough out because of their style of play and I don’t think UMass is up to the challenge of stopping the option attack.
  • Game 12: at New Mexico State (W) — I think that New Mexico State is the worst team the Minutemen might play all season and this is one they should win.

Final Record: 4-8
Quote:This should be seen as an improvement season if UMass manages to go 4-8. The early schedule is brutal, but they have winnable games down the stretch and four wins should be enough to secure another season for Walt Bell.

While agree with most including the overall record, do think we have a shot of winning against Eastern Michigan and can loss to one of the other games listed as win prediction.
(This post was last modified: 07-05-2021 02:56 PM by Steve1981.)
07-05-2021 02:55 PM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Season Thread
Hope this is not for all the games, but game day parking tickets will not be sold for the opener against Boston College. There will be free parking, but that is by the basketball arena over a mile away.

Quote:AMHERST, Mass. -- The Massachusetts football team will host Boston College in their home opener at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Saturday, September 11 (3:30 p.m.). Tickets can be purchased on the UMass Athletics website.

The UMass Athletics Ticket Office is located at the Mullins Center and is open Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. On gameday, the McGuirk Alumni Stadium Ticket Office (ticket sales and will call), located outside the east gates of McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Stadium Drive, opens three hours prior to kickoff and closes at the end of the third quarter. UMass undergraduate students receive free admission to all UMass Athletics events with their UCard.

Parking lots open four hours prior to kickoff, and parking or standing on roads before that time is prohibited.

In preparation for the home opener against Boston College, please note that parking lots surrounding McGuirk Alumni Stadium will be unavailable to individuals who have not secured parking prior to game day. If you do not secure a parking space prior to game day, free parking is available in remote lots (see map below).

[Image: 2Aug_2021_Updated_Parking_Map_Football_1_.jpg]

Contains additional information including Game Day 101 link

Google Map satellite view
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Amhers...72.5198537
(This post was last modified: 09-08-2021 06:00 PM by Steve1981.)
09-07-2021 10:39 AM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Season Thread
UMass looked so much better than Last week against Pitt. We were competitive against a good P5 team, Boston College. Final score destroyed the 38pt spread, 28 - 45.
We played a freshman QG, Massachusetts native, Brady Olsen and Zamar Wise played some. Starter Tyler Lytle sat out as being banged up against Pitt. Looking forward to the rest of the season![Image: E_DJKqmXoAELtgd?format=jpg&name=small]
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2021 08:51 PM by Steve1981.)
09-11-2021 07:06 PM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Season Thread
UMass has updated parking. Single game advance parking is $10, but now will accept cash on day game. However it's outrageously priced as Maine and EMU are $30 and Toledo, UConn and Rhody are $40, yikes! Yes game day parking depending on the game is $30 r $40, so buy in advance for $10.
09-17-2021 12:06 PM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Season Thread
(This post was last modified: 10-09-2021 08:30 PM by Steve1981.)
10-09-2021 07:30 PM
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Ewglenn Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Season Thread
(10-09-2021 07:30 PM)Steve1981 Wrote:  UMass 27 - UConn 13 04-cheers

https://www.gazettenet.com/UConn-UMass-f...RMeQS-Zqp8




Glad to see UMASS get a win!
10-10-2021 04:50 PM
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